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Mr. Negative and Inner Demon

Marvel Gamerverse
by yo go re

Always look on the bright side of life.

Mr. Negative commands the fearsome Inner Demons and wields a dark energy to destroy whatever stands in his way.

This is a "Gamerverse" set, which underlines just how quickly Mr. Negative has become an established part of Spider-Man's Rogues Gallery. Introduced in 2007's Free Comicbook Day issue, he's already had multiple appearances in games and cartoons. That's not quite as fast as Professor Pyg, but he's still the newest "real" villain Spidey's got. His public story is that he was illegally brought from China to the US, but the ship we was on sank and he was the only survivor; the truth is that he was a member of the ship's crew, part of the gang responsible for trafficking those people. When the ship sank, he Armin Tamzarianed himself into a new life.

Back when the Agents of SHIELD set introduced Hasbro's suit body, Mr. Negative was one of the characters we predicted could be made using it. Eight years later, we've been proven right! Mr. Negative uses that body with a new head, painted in the character's distinctive "backwards" colorscheme (a bit bluer here than in the comics, though still dark enough to be recognizable).

Mr. Negative got his powers from the same experiments (overseen by Silvermane's men) that also created Cloak and Dagger. As Martin Li, his touch can heal; as Mr. Negative, he can control people's wills, as well as charge weapons with his energy. To depict that, the figure includes a pure white sword (a new mold, with Chinese styling) with removable black energy burning around the blade. He also gets a pair of energy effects made of the same translucent black plastic, again some new molds rather than ones we've seen before. Way to make up the difference from reusing an old body!

The Inner Demons are mysterious enemies that serve Martin Li, aka Mr. Negative, the driving force behind a sinister plan that may destroy New York City!

Like we said, Mr. Negative can control men's minds - and the better the person is normally, the worse they become under his influence. So all those goons he has running around and doing his bidding? They must have been nice, average people before falling under his sway. Don't you feel good now for kicking the absolute life out of them, Pete? (You too, Miles.) Good thing they also apparently get a low-level healing factor when he turns them. Being thugs, the Inner Demons use a larger suit body, with the same rumpled, open shirt as Logan.

Despite the fact we said "Inner Demons," plural, the set only includes one. And yet, there are three different heads. Like AIM or Hydra, they're a gang of nameless henchmen, but Mr. Negative gives them unique black and white demon masks. The set includes three: a frowning, horned mask; a smiling, horned mask; and a growling mask. All three heads were sculpted by Cameron Bye, with the mask (and hair, in the case of the smiling one) keyed into the shared underlying head. The paint overwhelms the sculpt slightly, but it's so detailed you won't mind.

We get a bunch of accessories for the Inner Demon - furthering the idea that you'd army-build these guys, and kit each of them out differently. As we've seen with a different mobster, there's a machete, a baseball bat, a few red muzzle flares, and a few wisps of smoke. Those last few fit into the barrel of the very square rifle and pistol (new now, but originally designed [like the masks, by Bye] for the Falcon and the Winter Soldier Bucky). And if he gets disarmed, the Demon can resort to using his balled-up fists, because there's a set of those included as well. It's tough to use either the flares or smoke on the guns, because they (the guns, not the plug-ins) are made from a very soft, gummy plastic that wants to flex rather than stay still.

This is a nice set, but unbalanced. Getting three heads but just a single goon body means you'd need to buy three sets to make it complete. Maybe Hasbro will do an online release of the Inner Demon by himself (like the Hellfire Guard), but until then, this is disappointingly lacking. On the plus side, if all you want is Mr. Negative, you'll probably be able to find extras for sale cheap; alternately, if you buy the full set yourself, you shouldn't have any trouble finding someone to buy your Inner Demon and recoup some of the cost.

-- 05/08/23

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